Skip to main content

tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  December 17, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST

9:00 am
places in the wake of some very serious american tragedies, but this one, if i dare say it, seems a little bit different. give us your sense of your take on the move -- as far as the mood on the ground and how the community is reacting m days since the tragedy. >> alex, it would be difficult to even begin to try to express the depth and the breadth of the pain that this community is feeling and will feel all weeklong. the first of a series of funerals is getting underway right now. i'll show you a page from the local paper, and there are two pages of obituaries of children. we've just learned that governor dan malloy has shown up at the funeral of little noah, 6 years old, noah posner, who has a twin and an 8-year-old sister, and there was a heartbreaking question asked in his obituary. how do you capture the essence of a 6-year-old in just a few words? when i first came here on friday, alex, i was talking to the local priest.
9:01 am
they lost ten young parishioners. they will have eight funeral this is week, and he told me about a little girl even before we knew the mamz who he said he lost who was going to be an angel m christmas pageant, and i talked to her cousin today, and he was called uncle. she called him uncle john. he talked about yesterday being at the cemetery with her family and another family picking up burial plots for 6-year-old children, so i think when you have those kinds of stories, you cannot help but make it change the conversation. yesterday when the president was here at the high school right behind me as people were going in, they said they were there to honor the victims, not to be with the president, but when he said we can't tolerate this anymore, you could see the people were nodding, and there is a feeling here and i think around the country that is different from any story i've ever covered because of the faces and the stories of these
9:02 am
young victims all just 6 and 7 years old, alex. >> chris, the funeral that is take place this week will be a constant and painful reminder of the toll taken on friday. thank you for your coverage. it has been moving and very well done. thanks for your time. >> thank you. governor, we have talked throughout this year in moments like this about what needs to happen and so far nothing has really happened. >> right. >> i thought watching the president last night i was surprised that he sort of went where he did, although i think he did it in a very tasteful fashion insofar as he didn't say the word gun control and gun reform regarding gun control, but it's clear that is where he wants to go with this. >> there's no question, and it's interesting. we were here after aurora, and we said the same things after aurora, and i said after aurora that we have become very good at holding these memorial services, and the community comes together, and we thank the first responders and nothing changes. well, this better be the tipping point. if this doesn't convince the
9:03 am
average american citizen anywhere in the country, red state, blue state, that we need action, and people say, well, it has to be comprehensive, and, sure, it has to be comprehensive, but there are certain things we can do right away. we could get rid of assault rifles. we can get rid of magazines that have more than ten bullets in them. had this guy been limited to a magazine clip that had ten bullets, nearly half those children would survive. it would wouldn't limb nature on incidents like this, but we can cut down on the carnage significantly. we can also close the gun show loophole. you know, it's shocking, alex, that 40% of the guns purchased in america are purchased without the buyer being subject to a background check. even nra members, 74% of nra members and 89% of all gun owners want background checks before anybody can get a gun, so the men and women in congress have to stiffen their backs, not be afraid of the organization the nra, because the members of the nra are better than the
9:04 am
organization, and it's time for us to act finally once and for all. >> howard, your boss, mayor michael bloomberg, has been leading the charge on gun control throughout the year. he was on "meet the press" yesterday and had strong words calling on the president to exhibit leadership on the issue. i think there is a sense nationally that this time is different. we just talked to chris jansing on the ground in newtown, but that there is -- that i think for folks who have wanted to see reform on our nation's gun laws, that this could be an inflexion point. does the mayor share that feeling? >> he hopes so. you know, i may be alone in this, but i am just no longer comforted by comforting words. i feel like as the governor said, you know, we've become very good at doing these memorials after these events and then nothing happens substantively to change the underlying dynamic and the underlying problem, so i'm almost, frankly, a little suspicious of comforting words. comforting words are not nearly muff, and we need action and we
9:05 am
need presidential action, presidential leadership. we need congressional action and congressional leadership. mike bloomberg is the head of an organization. mayors all over the country, more than 500. he spent $10 million in the last election to defeat people who had nra support. there are a lot of people in this country who know that it's time for a change. we need to hear all of those voices, and we need leadership in congress and from the white house to do something. >> mike bloomberg on "meet the press" joy said, he said the nra's number one objective is to defeat barack obama for a second time. the last time i checked the election results, he won and he won handily. >> the idea that he would spend significant sums of money to push back if they did try to stop this from happening. the nra, to governor rendell's points, the membership of the nra is on the side of the vast majority of the american people, but the nra increasingly in the nation has done a lot of work on this. they don't represent the
9:06 am
workers. they represent gun manufacturers who have it in their interest to sell more and more weapons, even lethal weapons. i mean, the kind of weapons you expect to be on the ground in mogadishu or afghanistan among military members than you do in the home of a woman who was supposedly a volunteer at a preschool. i mean, we are at a point now where we have to decide whether we're going to side with the gun manufacturers or with the vast majority of americans who are horrified that someone could use a military style assault rifle to cut down two dozen children. i mean, we've reached a point where we can no longer say this. look, to howard wolfson's point, the president could have some very powerful allies here because police chiefs across this country have been calling for a very long time for no more cop killer bullets, armor-piercing bullets. these things that have no place among hunters or riflemen. >> hugo, he also has the support of rupert murdock on this. they are not frequent bed fellows. rupert tweeted when will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? >> i was struck by when i read the names in the black box on the front page of the "new york
9:07 am
times". you had three types of people. you had women. you had teachers. you had children. that's a pretty good base, a foundation for a real serious movement, and i think that, you know, on the other hand, i was watching "meet the press" with diane finestein, but some of the things she said was you see where the temz of the deal already are. they talk about the assault weapons ban that they're working on, that she's working on, and it exempts, she noted, as a virtue of the bill that it exempts 900 specific types of guns, and you see something like that, and you're, like, that's the bill that we're hoping for, you know? that's where things are right now, and that is, you know -- i don't think that's going to be the things that keeps kids safe in schools. >> we can do better than that. to go back to joy's point, the nra is a paper tiger. i come from the second largest nra membership state in the union. pennsylvania has more nra members than any state other than texas. i won three statewide elections by 10%, 12%, and 21%, and i was
9:08 am
opposed vigorously by the nra because of the work i did as mayor of philadelphia. each and every time. they are a paper tiger. they don't represent the voting public. >> how is a paper tiger then from -- why was the original assault weapons ban in a sense that went on for ten years, and why has there been no political will to do anything? >> because what happens is the nra is very good at targeting individual races and pouring all their resources into an individual race and succeeding there and scaring the adults out of people. they don't have an affect on statewide electrics. >> mayor bloomberg involved himself in some of those key races and didn't win all of them, but certainly it made a difference. >> i think, look, if you are a member of congress and an nra a-rated member of congress you now know that you could lose your seat because you sided with the nra. for a long time the only fear was if you bump them. now could you loose your seat if you are with them. >> there's another point we have
9:09 am
to make. there has to be a time in american political life where people stand up and say there are some things worth losing for. if i'm going to lose my seat because i'm casting a vote to protect american children, so be it. if we don't start doing that, we're done. we are done. >> truer words have not been spoke. we are just learning that connecticut governor dan malloy will hold a news conference later this afternoon at 3:30 eastern, but, first, after the break president obama opens the door while other lawmakers pledge action, while some critics say now is not the time to talk about gun control. is there any better time? we will ask congressman john larson when he joins us live next. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like.
9:10 am
i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biolog medicine prescribed by rheumatologists.
9:11 am
hi victor! mom? i know you got to go in a minute but this is a real quick meal, that's perfect for two! campbell's chunky beef with country vegetables, poured over rice! [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right.
9:12 am
9:13 am
>> we can't accept events like this as routine. are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? >> that was president obama last night beginning what may be a comprehensive discussion about gun violence followed by actual reform. while the president didn't specifically mention the words gun control, his desire for change was clear, and his galvanized a debate that gun control advocates say is long overdue. >> it's time for the president, i think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do. not go to congress and say what do you guys want to do? this should be his number one agenda. he is the president of the united states, and if he does nothing during his second term,
9:14 am
something like 48,000 americans will be killed with illegal guns. >> a bill is already in the works in the senate. california senator dianne feinstein says on day one she will move to renew the assault weapons ban that ended eight years ago. >> it will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. not retroactively, but perspectively, and it will ban the same for big clips, drums, or strips of more than ten bullets, so there will be a bill. >> marking a major shift certain gun rights advocates have agreed that the nation's gun laws must be reformed. on "morning joe today" west virginia senator joe mansion, a democrat with an a-rating from the nra weighed in. >> never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. it's never happened in america that i can recall ever seeing this type of carnage.
9:15 am
anybody, anybody that lives in america, anybody that's a proud gun owner, anyone that's a proud member of the nra, they're also proud parents and proud grandparents. they understand this has changed where we go from here. >> as yet the powerful gun lobby has been largely silent. on friday the nra said it wouldn't comment until all the facts were known, and this morning it appeared that the organization's facebook page had been taken down. joining us now from washington is congressman john larson of connecticut. congressman, thank you for joining us during what we know must be a very, very tough time for both you and your constituents. >> well, happy to be with you, alex. it is -- it is a very tough time for the people of newtown and sandy hook, but last evening the president said it best. they inspire all of us through what they have done and the way their first responders and teachers and families and community have come together.
9:16 am
let us hope that that inspiration leads to the same kind of resolve that the president had last evening. it's time for us to act. there's ample legislation that's out there that's in the hopper. it needs to be focused not only on gun control, but on mental health and youth violence as well, but not to act is to be complicit because we know this will happen again, and the slaughter of this innocence that took place has got to tug at the heart strings of every single parent in this country, and so it becomes all of our responsibility but certainly in the united states congress to take action and already there's an outpouring for members in my caucus, and i hope that we can reach bipartisan accord on this because there's many in the nra that certainly believe in
9:17 am
universal background checks and as was pointed out by dianne feinstein and others, assault weapons, what purpose do they serve, you know, and these automatic clips? mike thompson calls them assault clips. do we really need them? to allow terrorists who could be on the list to get a gun? come on. we ought to make it as easy as someone to get access to mental health as they have to an assault weapon. that's what we can all come together on, and that's what we should be doing. >> congressman, i want to ask you, because you were there with the president. you were on air force one. you were in the room last night. for those of us that have followed his career in the white house closely, it seemed that this was a defining moment of his presidency. it was very clear that this has affected him not just as the commander in chief, but as a father and as an american citizen in a way that almost no other tragedy has, and i wonder if you could give us a sense of what it was like to be in the room with him, what interaction you have with him, your reading
9:18 am
in the situation insofar as it affected him. >> i have never seen this president who is always calm and collected so shaken by an event like this. he said that this was the worst thing that's happened in his presidency, and you could tell that he spoke, as you pointed out, alex, both as a father and also as the head of this country in knowing i think what every parent knows in their heart that this is our watch, our time, this moment. this is a match that cannot be postponed. we must take action, and while there's no single panacea that exists out there, we know that not acting only further exacerbates a problem that we
9:19 am
know can be addressed and should address, and this president, boy, did he lift up the people of connecticut and sandy hook and newtown yesterday, but beyond that, you know and i think those that doubt his tamarity on this situation are misreading him. he is very serious about that. that was his mood. it was solemn. it was focused. it was uplifting, but it was also aimed directly at taking specific action. >> congressman, i want to open this up to our panel a little bit. there is an op ed, joy, in the washington post from joseph calafano that worked for l.b.j., and he writes, "obama has a unique opportunity, a lame-duck session of congress. if he learns from the lessons of lbj two weeks to get action and takes advantage of the fact that many members can vote their conscious without fear of retribution by the gun lobby
9:20 am
because they are not seeking re-election. this nation may complete the task of passing comprehensive gun control. >> i think that's a great point, and he can even just learn the lessons of 2010 after that sort of shell abbinging that democrats took. that was used for repeal of don't ask don't tell. this is a moment when congress is more vulnerable i think to the disgust of the american people than they are of the nra because the idea of even vulnerable members of congress saying no, i'm going to side with the gun manufacturers lobby on this with those funerals happening and those children being buried. i defy any member of congress to not vote in favor of sane comprehensive gun control if it was presented now. >> congressman, i have to ask you, as we talk about a sane conversation around gun control, you also have members of congress like louie gomer who are saying we arm teach nerz our
9:21 am
classrooms, which to me seems pretty counter intuitive if we're worried about violence in schools, why are we arming people? >> well, i'm a former teacher, and my daughter teaches currently. i want our teachers to be trained so that we can address the problems of literacy, so that we can improve our education system. let the -- let the public safety people handle these other issues. i think mr. gomert is way off in this case. it's like saying the same thing after virginia tech. arm the students. let them carry weapons. that clearly in my estimation -- maybe it works in texas. i don't know. but i don't think it works for the nation, and i clearly don't think teachers should be trained along these -- along those lines. >> howard wolfson, in terms of other measures that we can take in addition to gun control, joe lieberman yesterday saying we should have a national commission on violence because independent of the actual weaponry, there is a culture of violence, and if you looked at what happened in the past week,
9:22 am
this is largely been under the radar, antonio, text tellings, a movie theater sunday night, birmingham, alabama, the hospital shooting that wounded two employees. newport beach, california, a man fired 50 rounds at a shopping center. happy valley, oregon, on tuesday, a mall shooting, and then, of course, newtown on friday. that all happened -- >> two policemen in kansas. >> in one week. in one week. >> we should have a conversation about mental health and how we help people who are clearly at a breaking point, and we can have a conversation about violence in the media, but the commonality of all the events you just described is guns and in many cases illegal guns, and so the conversation that i think americans really want to have right now is what we do to reduce the amount of illegal gun violence in this country. we've done it in new york. this is the safest big city in the country. there are other large cities that are making real inroads against gun violence, but at the local level mayors and governors
9:23 am
can't do it without leadership at the federal level, and, again, the passion and the comforting words from the president, they're important, but they're not nearly as important as the kind of leadership that he and congressman larson, his colleagues in congress, need to demonstrate now to get something done. >> congressman, before we go, i have to ask you, what factor do you think contributes the most to moving the ball forward on this? is it greater coverage in the media? is it more leadership from our politicians? what do you need to see to push for gun control reform in congress? >> well, clearly, clearly, it's all of the above, but most importantly, it's leadership from our elected officials. we are elected with a responsibility and a charge, and we have an obligation to speak out. if this were a terrorist attack and, frankly, i think these are domestic acts of terrorism. we would not be leaving a single stone unturned to make sure that we address this in the most
9:24 am
comprehensive way. as congress reacted after september the 11th. we can't keep sweeping this stuff under the table and being numb as though it almost didn't happen or that this is common place. as the president said yesterday, the time to act is now, and there's ample legislation out there to do it. let's not let the perfect, you know, become the enemy of the good. let's move forward. if not, and i think the american people and the media and everybody else can join as the mayors have done, as mayor bloomberg, as mayor menino in a crescendo of talking to congress, sending the message every parent ought to rise up and say for god sake, take action. >> congressman larson, thank you so much for your time. our well wishes, our condolen s condolences, send them to you and your constituents, and good luck about your efforts on capitol hill. thanks for your time.
9:25 am
>> new york city deputy mayor howard wolfson, thank you as always, for your time, sir, and best of luck with the efforts, moving the ball forward. >> coming up, the role of mental health and national tragedies and how does a community and the country begin to heal in the wake of a disaster? we will examine more unanswered questions just ahead. >> they added other holidays and eventually expanded to products that celebrate family life. hey big guy,
9:26 am
i want to get a big tv for my big family, for the big holiday. we like to watch big games. we got a big spread together... so it's gotta be big. how about the 55-inch lg tv. it's led and has incredible picture quality... that's big... but i got a little budget. with the walmart credit card special financing you can go big this year. that's big time! alright! [ male announcer ] get the season's hottest brands, like an lg 55-inch led tv. make an electronics purchase of $599 or more on your walmart credit card and get no interest if paid in full within 24 months. america's gift headquarters. walmart.
9:27 am
in full within 24 months. oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
9:28 am
according to the fbi gun background checks have nearly doubled since 2002 with more than 16.8 million gun checks in 2012 alone. in total, americans own nearly 300 million guns averaging almost one per person, but most of those weapons are concentrated in the hands of a relatively few mof people. roughly 20% of gun owners own about 65% of the nation's guns.
9:29 am
joining us now to discuss is kolon goddard, assistant director of the brady campaign. colin, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, alex. >> let's talk about those statistics because i think they confuse a lot of us, which is there is a sense that there is an ever-growing numbers of gun owners in this country, but it sounds like we've actually stagnated, if not gone down. the violence policy center found that in 2010 33% of households own guns. when you compare that to 1973, when 50% of the country owned guns. so what explains the increasing amount of violence -- gun violence in this country? >> i think there's a lot of reasons for that, but i think, i mean, the easy accessibility to firearms that we allow in this country to continue to exist is definitely part of that situation. i mean, out of all those gun sales that occur in this country in a given year, up to 40% of those don't have a background check with that. i mean, that's just bad public policy that has to change and from the outpouring of support and emotion and sentiment that
9:30 am
we have seen from people over the past couple of days since friday, that's what people, you know, want to see change. that's what makes sense, you know? gun don't kill people. people kill people. we understand that, so that's why we want background checks on all people. you know? so what we've seen at we are bet than is an outpouring of support for positive specific policy change like that. >> governor rendell, you know, after these tragedies, there tends to be human cry about politicizing them, and i feel like this is the first one that we've had where it isn't actually about politics. a, it's about a reasonable rationale conversation about something to make people safer, but also, i think we sort of gloss over the motion that in talking about this and in talking about solutions, it's also a way of coping. i mean, this is a way of sort of getting through this. it's to try and find some answers and solutions. >> there's no question you're right, alex. i saw one of the mothers being interviewed last night, and she said if lives of our 20 children are going to mean anything, this
9:31 am
has to be the place where the beginning of rationality came back to this country. if those 20 kids, if in the naem of those 20 kids we can enact some rationale policies on gun control, on how we deal with mental problems, then those 20 kids will not have died in vein, and i think every parent felt that in the auditorium where the president spoke very deeply, very deeply, which is why he had such a response. every parent feels that. this is the time. we're better than, we can't let this drop because the one thing the mra has is intensity. when i was governor, we couldn't even get a bill passed that you had to report a lost and stolen firearm. you have to report a lost or stolen car, but you don't have to report a lost or stolen firearm. well, the nra can press a button and get 1,000 emails or 1,000 letters or is 1,000 calls into every legislator's office, and they get scared of those calls. i would show them polls. 79% of pennsylvanians, in your
9:32 am
district, represented, 92% want lost or stolen reporting to be required. they wouldn't care about the polls because they would have a visceral response. that's why the nra is so powerful. >> i'm still confused by this because like me here, we were just sitting here a couple of months ago talking about aurora. we were in the midst of a presidential campaign. it literally could not be brought up. it couldn't be brought up by our president. it wasn't going to be brought up by his republican opponent. so what's -- what is really going to be different? >> i think actually, colin, i would direct this question to you. david brooks was on "meet the press" yesterday and i think brought up a very important point which is that the gun control argument is increasingly a cultural argument between rural and urban and sort of folks that may feel like their way of life is disappearing if there are stricter gun control laws. to what degree do you feel like that needs to be addressed and to what degree do you think david brix is right that the person that leads this charge needs to be someone who is a
9:33 am
hunter, someone who is in cusp with gun culture? >> we have many gun owners who support this position. i mean, my question is to that is which part of a background check would take away your rights or your gun? you know, that's a question that can't be answered. you have to understand that the nra doesn't represent gun owners. it represents the gun industry, the manufacturers, the people whose bottom line at the end of the day is selling more guns in this country, so there's the giant disconnect between the average gun-owning american and the nra who says they represent them, which is just not true, and the nra got trounced this past election. they spent millions of dollars and got basically nobody elected. ultimately, what happened at this school was not somebody exercising their second amendment rights. that really shouldn't be a part of this conversation at all. >> i do think you -- i don't think you can override the fact that there are cultural differences here and that some part of this argument touches on that. >>. >> you need for talk to people and say, folks, we're not doing a single blessed thing that will infringe on your gun rights at
9:34 am
all. you don't need magazines that have more than ten bullets. not for hunting. not for protecting yourself. everyone wants a background check. nra members all want background checks. assault rifles, you don't hunt a deer with an assault rifle. nothing we're doing here is going to affect your culture. you wants your child to learn how to use a rifle and hunt? absolutely. nothing we're doing is affecting that. >> isn't there t true that it has become a regional issue. the south, i would guess that from statistics that you read earlier, you probably have more gun ownership in the south. we have fewer people overall owning guns, but the people who have been buying more guns, we know that phenomenon happened after president obama was elected, particularly in the south. the south is also the most deadly region in the country. your chances of dying are much higher in louisiana than they are in new york from guns. gun-related deaths. >> the story in "the times" today about newtown and the prefl ens of gun ownership there. it's not -- >> but they have some of the strongest gun laws. connecticut has the third strongest gun laws in the
9:35 am
country. they have the lowest -- >> but recently to not step it up and -- >> after the police department complained about all these crazy shootings everywhere. >> i think the argument you can make to congress, it's easy for him to say that because the one place you are absolutely safe from gun violence in this country is inside the united states capitol. you can't get guns in there. we're not safe in school. we're not safe in movie theaters. we're not safe in our houses of worship, but you darn sure are safe in congress. >> i want to give this last question to you. we've talked about mental illness that's been something -- a reoccurring theme in these discussions, and when you -- as part of -- in terms of the brady campaign platform, you look at mental health services that are available to ordinary american citizens. in each of these shootings you were the victim of the virginia tech shooting. mental illness has played a factor in all this, and then you look at since fiscal year 2009 states have cut more than $1.6 billion in funding for mental health agency budget wrshz this, of course, is coming against the back drop of, you know, the fiscal cliff discussions and how much we are going to resource
9:36 am
necessary treatment and service options for those that need it most. >> i mean, like the saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure absolutely applies to this issue, and i think shootings like this really show kind of where these two kind of cultures intersect. you know, mental health is something that is improved when we understand that we have a community responsibility to help people that live next to us, our family, our neighbors that have these issues. if you see someone doing something bizarre or dangerous behavior, you have an obligation. we have to push back on the saying saying get a gun to protect yourself and your family, and that's all you can do. forget everybody else. that relates to mental health. we cannot forget everybody else. we have to include them. we have to work with them. we have to be there for them. it's when we don't do that when people get isolated and do
9:37 am
things like this. thank you for reminding us in the importance of community in all of this. >> thank you for having me. south carolina governor nikki haley nouns her replacement nor jim demint. we will bring you the name and the bio coming up next. one dron has twice the everyday grease cleaning ingredients of one drop of the leading non-concentrated brand... to clean 2x more greasy dishes. dawn does more. so it's not a chore.
9:38 am
9:39 am
starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy...
9:40 am
is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. >> it is with great pleasure that i am announcing that i am appointing our next u.s. senator to be congressman tim scott. >> that was south carolina governor nikk haley moments ago announcing her pick to replace senator jim demint. according to state law, tim scott will hold that seat until 2014 when voters choose who serves out the remainder of the term. two weeks ago senator demint announced he was resigning in order to take a position at the heritage foundation. in a statement demint called tim scott a "principled leader and an important voice for conservatives across the nation." coming up, as america mourns the victims of the sandy hook shooting, the story that had most of the -- the story that
9:41 am
most of the country had been focused on has rightly remained on the sidelines. will washington put aside the squabbling and reach a deal on the fiscal cliff? we will ask luke russert just ahead. oh...there you go. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! i'm gonna stand up to her! no you're not. i know. you know ronny folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than a witch in a broom factory. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses,
9:42 am
i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. [ male announcer ] with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and you never need a referral to see a specialist. so don't wait. call now and request this free decision guide to help you better understand medicare...
9:43 am
and which aarp medicare supplement plan might be best for you. there's a wide range to choose from. we love to travel -- and there's so much more to see. so we found a plan that can travel with us. anywhere in the country. [ male announcer ] join the millions of people who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations. remember, all medicare supplement insurance plans help cover what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands a year in out-of-pocket costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is.
9:44 am
as america continues to mourn those lost in newtown, bickering in the nation's capital over the fiscal cliff has likely receded into the background, but while it changes the tenor of political discourse, the country's economic challenges and political differences remain and negotiations carry on. over the weekend news broke that talks between the president and speaker boehner at the end of last week resulted in some actual signs of progress. according to sources on both sides. the two were back at it again this morning meeting at the white house for approximately 45 minutes. boehner declined to talk to reporters afterward. in a phone conversation between the two leaders on friday, boehner for the first time put tax rate increases on the table agreeing to allow hikes on americans making over $1 million a year. the speaker also agreed in
9:45 am
principle to accept $1 trillion in new revenue over ten years, an increase from his initial offer of $800 billion. in exchange nbc news reports that the white house is willing to consider up to $1 trillion in entitlement cuts. president obama has also lowered his revenue target from $1.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion. nbc news reports the talks are likely to continue right up until december 31st and possibly into the new year. a deal would likely involve two steps. tax rate increases and cost of living adjustments to entitlement programs up front with an agreement to more reform of the tax code and entitlement programs later on in 2013. joining us from capitol hill is nbc's luke russert. luke, we have want been -- and i think obviously rightfully so -- paying too much attention to the fiscal cliff negotiations, but it sounds like there's been quite a bit of movement over the weekend. are you optimist ebbing that a deal may be on the table by the end of the week? >> i spoke to a high level gop aide recently who told me they were cautiously optimistic that
9:46 am
they could possibly seed a blueprint for a deal coming as early as this wednesday to be introduced to the house republican conference to sort of gauge their reaction to it. another democrat on the senate side said momentum breeds momentum, and there's certainly momentum right now. are you guys going to a press conference? >> thank you, my friend. we do have to cut you off. back to you for more later on this week, but wee need to go now to connecticut where state police are giving an update with the latest on the investigation. let's lisp in. >> it goes unscathed. i have to plead, families are grieving. many of the families have asked to please afford them their privacy as they go through this terrible, terrible tragedy that they're dealing with. i've been asked, the lieutenant has been asked to pass that on to you as clearly and concisely as possible. it's the best way i can do it.
9:47 am
>> at this time i can take a kwchl questions, we'll see if we can clear some things up, and then i'll speak about future get-togethers. >> correct. >> you're going to ask me a hard question, and i'm trying to recall. there were two phone calls. the question was about the threats. there were two threats of violence, and we could just simply say they came in two separate phone calls against the same facility, that was the catholic church in town. two telephone calls received. again, as i stated before, those are criminal acts. those are acts that are being thoroughly and completely investigated and follow-up will be done by either state and/or federal authorities relative to any threats of that nature that someone set forth. those are the threats. next, please.
9:48 am
>> now, certainly -- i can't even begin to speculate. we just simply don't have that information to provide to you. as i've stated numerous times, we definitely, we definitely are peeling that onion back layer by layer, and we'll know all of that information. believe me when i tell you, there's a team that are working on just that, are working with atf and other federal authorities, state authorities, nd local authorities to make unturned regarding that specific training, sir. yes, sir. >> sir, i didn't indicate what evidence was -- has been seized at any location. i don't know where that information came from. we did seize significant evidence at the residence. we will analyze, and it's a very
9:49 am
painstaking process in forensic science. it's going to take many time to do that. >> the hard drive -- >> we don't cuss evidence, sir. i'm sorry. we do not discuss evidence, its content, or detail what it is. yes, sir. >> just a kmpl things. you said earlier there were people that were shot and survived. >> that's correct, sir. >> do we know where -- >> the question was there were two people that were wounded in this and did sur vooef, two adults. that is correct. they were wounded in the lower extremities. i do not know the location in the school. i cannot answer that question. >> were they both women? >> do you know how many students were in each classroom, how many survivors were in each classroom? >> no. >> how many -- >> no, i'm sorry. i don't. we don't have -- he is asking about do we have specific location of survivors and location of students and faculty and staff, and i don't have that. i'm sorry. yes, ma'am. >> can you identify any of the injured adults yet? >> no. we do not identify witnesses. they're witnesses.
9:50 am
yes, ma'am. >>. >> again, i -- good questions and a good way to ask it, but i can only tell you we seized evidence if, if, there is computer evidence, and i strongly say that. if. we do have a computer crimes team in our state forensic laboratory that are experts in retrieving any type of electronic evidence and data, so that's -- i'll leave that there, please. >> is there any update on the schools that were locked down earlier today? >> no, those will be handled by local authorities. those two lockdowns in surrounding communities have been cleared. yes. >> can you tell us if the alleged -- assault rifle, were those under connecticut law to -- >> i cannot tell you that because i do not know. as i said this morning, that weapon from the day it was built to the day we seized it we will look at every aspect of it from
9:51 am
stem to stern, where it's been, who has had it, and all the clips, the ammunition, everything to do with all the weapons. >> we're watching at home and say, you know, there's no mystery here anymore, but there's so much effort being put into the investigation, and they might say we'll never be just until the -- >> the answers are for the poor victims, the families, the people of connecticut that need to know and see a clear picture as to exactly what happened here. as i said many times, there are many people, including first responders, including town residents, including people right in this audience that have broken hearts over this. we're going to do everything that it takes to insure that we uncover every bit of evidence, that we examine every facet of it, that we conduct as many interviews to paint a clear picture as to exactly how and why this tragedy occurred. yes, ma'am.
9:52 am
>> could you clarify that his mother was shot with a .22 caliber rifle and -- >> i can't answer that. again, ma'am, anything that was seized in that house would be evidence, and as far as the wounds that the victims suffered, the medical examiner was very clear was multiple gunshot wounds, and that's as far as we went with that description, ma'am. one more question. yes, sir. >> can you speak to -- >> there was no connection between the shooter and the school, according to the school authorities here in newtown. >> none at all? >> according to the school authorities in newtown. >> can you answer a question about -- also a lockdown at a school nearby. >> yeah. we addressed that before. i'll just restate that. there was -- anything whatsoever to do with school security anywhere within our state, we're obviously all on the edge -- we're all on edge at anything that's suspicious, anything that even remotely appears to be a lack of security or breach of security in any educational institution in connecticut, and i'm sure in surrounding states
9:53 am
and across the country will be treated very, very seriously. there was a report this morning where there was a suspicious individual in close proximity to one of the schools. the local police department responded, investigated and cleared the matter. it was not a threat, but in doing so, they did put nearby schools in lockdown simply as a precaution. i do know that across the state the governor and the education commissioner and local authorities and local officials are putting a little bit of extra security. we're supporting the educational system throughout the state of connecticut. we're certainly, as you well know, the teachers are well trained. the fax ultimate are well trained. all the personnel in the school are well trained. the practice for fire drills and safety will be -- what i would like to say today that this is going to be our last press gathering today. we've come to a point in this investigation, yes, we are still working, but i don't want to keep you here, and i don't want
9:54 am
to keep coming up and trying to give you information if we have no new information to give you. what we're going to do is i handed out a slip that gives you information. anything new is going to be posted on our website. all press releases, all press announcements will be post odd our website. if there were anything that erupted or evolved into this investigation and we kneeled to hold a press conference and it would have to be something significant, then we would give you ample time to gather at a central location and provide that between lieutenant from newtown and myself. again, i am imploring you to please give the families privacy as they go through the devastating period of time in their life. we will stay in contact. if you have specific questions, we can address them via e-mail. that would be the smartest and the best way. we'll be more than happy to address that. >> it might be a long time before we get a chance to talk to you, i'm wondering obviously
9:55 am
what we ask is you all the time, do you think you could give people some guidance, people -- >> that was lieutenant paul vance speaking with the latest in connecticut. we have to leave it there. thank you to nbc's luke russert and to our panelists today, joy reid, ed rendell, and hugo lindgren. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when i'm joibd by the nation's katrina van den huingal. until then you can find us at face andrea mitchell reports is next. there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription.
9:56 am
[ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are, or may become pregnant or are breast feeding should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, possible increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. talk to your doctor today about androgel 1.62% so you can use less gel. log on now to and you could pay as little as ten dollars a month for androgel 1.62%. what are you waiting for? this is big news.
9:57 am
9:58 am
by showing you the apartment building where the fire was. when things like this happen, i think you find a new perspective on life. red cross put us in a hotel so we were able to stay together. we're strong and if we overcame that or if we can overcome that... we can overcome anything. [ sniffles ] ♪
9:59 am
>> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. to end them we must change. in the coming weeks i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. >> will this time be different? the sandy hook massacre finally ignites a national conversation on gun control. new york city mayor michael bloomberg has been leading the way. >> words alone cannot heal our nation. only action can do that. gun violence is a national epidemic and a national tragedy that demands more than words. >> this hour senator dianne feinstein about her push to reinstate the assault weapons